ohn Bercow has “orchestrated” a row over Donald Trump’s visit to the UK in order to allow him to stay in post as Commons Speaker until 2020, Government sources believe.
Mr Bercow was accused of violating his political impartiality after he said on Monday that he wanted to prevent the US president from addressing Parliament during a forthcoming state visit.
He said that he wanted to stop Mr Trump from speaking in Westminster Hall because of his “racism and sexism”.
It prompted one Conservative MP, James Duddridge, to table a motion of no confidence in Mr Bercow, which has been formally supported by two Tory backbenchers.
However, Cabinet ministers have told the Telegraph that they believe Mr Bercow intentionally created the row as part of a plot to ensure he stays on as Commons Speaker until at least 2020.
It had previously been expected that Mr Bercow would stand down next year.
But after making his comments about Mr Trump, Mr Bercow has been supported by numerous MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, who said that they will oppose any bid to oust him.
It means it is likely that Mr Bercow will be able to remain in post for years. It is understood that Mr Bercow has told friends and allies he wants to remain in post until at least 2020.
“Bercow did this to win Labour, SNP and Lib Dem support for staying on,” a senior member of Theresa May’s Government said. “He has orchestrated the whole thing.”
Allies of Mr Bercow said that he had simply been responding to a point of order in Parliament by Stephen Doughty, a Labour MP, calling on officials to withhold permission for an address to Westminster Hall by Mr Trump.
But a number of Conservatives claim that Mr Bercow knew the question was coming and had pre-prepared his remarks.
Mr Bercow prompted a furious response from ministers on Monday when he told MPs: “We value our relationship with the United States. However, as far as this place is concerned I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.
“Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.”
Source: The Telegraph